In Game Strategy Will Improve For Real Salt Lake Under Freddy Juarez In Year Two

Feb 11, 2021, 4:45 PM

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake...

Photo courtesy: Real Salt Lake

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Most Real Salt Lake fans will tell you that the club operates in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

However, the 4-2-3-1 formation is very rarely noticeable when you turn on to watch RSL. Rather, the club utilizes a number of other formations depending on the scenario.

“It really doesn’t really matter with the formation,” Juarez told KSL Sports. “It’s more of what I’m trying to do in possession, in our organization, and it’s far from a 4-2-3-1.”

The Numbers Game

If RSL has possession you will see a 3-2-4-1 and when the team is defending they will operate in a more traditional 4-4-2. This is not subject to only RSL, every professional soccer team changes its formation when it defends and/or attacks.

When attacking or in possession of the ball, RSL will drop Donny Toia alongside the center backs or they will drop one of their midfielders such as Everton Luiz to form three across the back.

Manager Freddy Juarez is always looking to have four to five players behind the ball and four to five players ahead of the ball. That way, if RSL turns the ball over they will have enough numbers to hopefully prevent a scoring opportunity for the other team.

When defending, however, the reason Juarez uses a 4-4-2 is due to its compact structure. A 4-4-2 is very difficult to break down. There is not a lot of space for opposing teams to expose when playing against a 4-4-2 formation, assuming every individual plays their role.

Teams also change formations depending on the scenario. If RSL is up 1-0 late in a game, there is a good chance that Freddy Juarez throws on a defender and plays five across the backline with the hope of closing out the game.

New Year, Wiser Juarez

Nonetheless, Juarez is excited to further progress as a coach. Last year was a learning curve for Juarez who admitted to KSL Sports that his first year in charge was harder than he had anticipated. Much of that, however, was due to the constant unknown surrounding the status of the league as it related to the global coronavirus pandemic.

“I think last year, because the congestion of games really played some tricks in my mind where you’re like, oh, man, I need a rest guys. What do we have at our disposal? What players are available at full strength? What would give us the best chance of winning?”

In year two, he hopes to become more of a decisive leader.

“I think the biggest thing is, we really have to believe in our style of play and try to implement that as often as possible,” Juarez added.



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In Game Strategy Will Improve For Real Salt Lake Under Freddy Juarez In Year Two